The availability of social and recreational activities in assisted living provides older adult tenants with opportunities for physical activity and socialization in later life. This thesis explores the factors and attributes that influence tenants’ desire and ability to participate in the scheduled activities offered in assisted living and the role participation has on their Quality of Life. Qualitative methods were used to examine features of the organizational, physical, and social environment in two assisted living residences. Four substantive themes were identified: 1) “I’m in here for a reason”: The intersection of home and health, 2) Negotiating boundaries, 3) Opportunities and choices: Blending needs and wants, and 4) Nuanced social life: The continuum of goers to noers. The findings reveal the complexity of participatory behaviours in assisted living and the intersections between multiple levels of the environment. Implications for recreation programming and assisted living policy are discussed.
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Thesis advisor: Mahmood, Atiya
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